This weekend the Falcons track team took to Nampa, Idaho to participate in the GNAC Championships for the indoor track season. The two-day competition had big moments coming from the women’s team, however they came up short in their goal to win a championship, finishing in second place behind Concordia University Portland.
On Friday, sophomore Peace Igbonagwam competed in a close long jump competition in Nampa. Igbonagwam had a big last jump during the meet, jumping 19 ‘5.50”, giving her the first place spot to finish the meet. Her third jump helped her secure another conference championship and increased her ranking to number eight on the NCAA Division II qualifying list.
“Peace had a great meet, performed at a high level in all her events and her long jump mark possibly qualified her for the NCAA Division II championships,” associate track and field coach Chris Reed said.
Igbonagwam was not the only one to have a successful day in long jump. Junior Renick Meyer jumped her first 19-footer, jumping a 19’1.25”, finishing in third. In pole vault, sophomore Madison Licari took third, clearing a height of 11 feet, seven inches.
In the running events, Igbonagwam took fourth place in the 60 meter dash. She was followed by junior Julia Stepper, taking fifth after running a 7.70, senior Grace Bley finishing in sixth, Meyer finishing in seventh and sophomore Jenna Bouyer finishing in eighth place.
In the 200 meter dash, Bley took second with 24.65, Igbonagwam took third running a 24.78, Stepper took fourth with a 25.03 and Bouyer took sixth with a 25.24.
In the mile, Dania Holmberg finished in third with a 5:03.30 and Senior Kate Lilly finished in fourth, running a 5:05.91. The roles were reversed in the 3,000 as Lilly had a huge performance, running a 9:47.88, finishing first place and helping her to win her first ever title. Holmberg followed right behind her in second, running a 9:47.75.
“Kate’s race was something special,” Reed said. “She deserves her conference championship and she ran like herself again in the 3,000.”
In the women’s 5,000 meter race, senior Sedona McNerney took seventh running an 18:29.44.
A surprising result came out of the pentathlon, as senior Scout Cai came in second place with a score of 3,406, finishing behind University of Alaska Anchorage’s Elena Cano. Cai had won the indoor pentathlon championship the three previous years.
The women’s team finished the weekend placing second overall in the meet with 121 points.
On the men’s side, sophomore David Njeri set a new personal record in the 60 meter hurdles, running a 8.33 second run in his heat, putting him in the number 3 seed for Saturday’s finals. Njeri finished fourth overall in the hurdles. Njeri also took seventh place in the long jump with 22’3.50”.
“David is a student of the sport. He had a pretty good long jump competition, but the hurdles sparked him for Saturday,” Reed said.
Sophomore Colby Otero took seventh place in the 3,000 meter run at 8:42.77. The men’s 4,000 distance medley relay took seventh overall, with a relay team that included junior Elius Graff, freshman Julius Shepherd, junior Ben Hansen and sophomore Brayden Schultz, running a 10:35.28. Schultz also finished 11th in the mile.
Freshman Brad Bowman finished fifth in his first competition of the season on pole vault, clearing a height of 13 feet, 1.5 inches.
The men’s team took ninth overall in the meet.
“The girls have great capability to win the outdoor season. During the indoor season, the girls side suffered injuries, but if we can stay healthy we have a shot to win the outdoor championship,” Reed said, with the outdoor track season coming up.
“For the men’s side, [I am] looking forward to seeing the guys improve and seeing them consistently perform with professionalism throughout the season.”
The first outdoor meet of the season will take place Saturday, March 7, with the Ed Boitano Invitational at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington.